Sunday, August 08, 2004

Swimming pools and presidents

Bill Steigerwald tells us about a unique--for Pittsburgh--private-public partnership that has saved a Mt. Washinton swimming pool. It's an example of what the city will need to do if it wants to return to the land of fiscal solvency. Business as usual isn't going to cut it anymore, no matter what Joe King says.

It's not online, but I recommend picking up the September issue of Esquire for conservative writer Tucker Carlson's ambivalent essay about President Bush. Carlson basically says he will vote for Bush or no one, but no one still has a shot at getting his vote. Carlson criticizes Bush for failing to return to Washington immediately after the Sept. 11 attacks, for failing to make the government more responsive to terror threats and, of course, for going to war in Iraq. Here's a great few lines: "As he has managed and mismanaged the war in Iraq, Bush has proved stubborn, uncommunicative, and slow to adapt to changing realities. His enemies cite these qualities as evidence of Bush's arrogance. But Bush isn't inflexible because he's arrogant. He's inflexible because he's weak."

Carlson said that because Bush was uncertain about how to fight the war on terror, he fell prey to advisors who were convinced that we could remake the Middle East by toppling Saddam Hussein. Carlson also concludes that Bush is a poor public speaker not because he is dumb but because he is insecure. That makes sense when you consider that most people who followed Bush's tenure as Texas governor were shocked to see how poorly he accorded himself as a speaker when he ran for president. Perhaps he was not ready to be president...


Blogger Steve said...

I hate Carlson, except for when he has to face Carville on crossfire and gets his butt kicked.

5:08 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

He's annoying as hell on TV, but he's a good writer. I had no idea he felt that way about the war.

8:21 AM

Blogger Jonathan Potts said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:22 AM

Blogger fester said...

I can definately buy the last paragraph in that Carlson believes that Bush, who pre-9-11 thought terrorism was a comparatively low priority compared to NMD and other state focused exercises of power, did not orginally (pre-9-11) set out to invade Iraq, but was led into doing so by people who had wanted to go to Baghdad since 1991, including his vice President. This would lead into the main point of Bush being weak as a leader and a manager and it feeds into Brad DeLong's long questioning of the decision process of the White House where the seperate agendas of the major factions seek to isolate Bush from contradictory information and get him to make decisions on a 'gut' level. Interesting....

9:54 AM


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